Use Your Marxism to Understand the News

On July 22, everybody knows the biggest "news" story. Marxist ecoomist Victor Perlo told us recently that the "debt crisis" is a fraud. The two capitalist parties could raise the debt-ceiling, as they have 89 times before, without any catastrophe. One could draw at least three conclusions from the big brou-ha-ha going on in Washington:

The class struggle is the lens that clarifies the news

The lead article in the local paper says "Profit yes, jobs no. As corporations boom in quarter, workers are stuck in a bust." It says it's just a dirty shame that unemployment continues to rise while corporate profits are doing so well. It's presented as a strange anomaly that just has no explanation! The business section says that Caterpillar profits went up 44%, those of General [no taxes paid in 2010] Electric went up 21%, and McDonald's profits rose 15%. That's all on one page! The article doesn't mention that this same thing is going on in the other major capitalist nations. Capitalists are going up, up, up while workers are going down, down. down.

It's not in the article, but the explanation is simple. Capitalists are organized into nation states. They may pretend to be friends, but they compete against one another. The main way to compete is to lower production costs, and labor is the main production cost. Consequently, all of the major capitalist nations are driving down wages, benefits, and government services that would ordinarily go to workers. At he same time, they force us to increase productivity.

There's no "strange anomaly," the capitalists are doing this on purpose, not only in the United States but also in the other capitalist nations. As they drive down our share of the wealth we produce, they keep more for themselves and they (hope to) gain advantage over their competitors.

One terrific example

A really good example is on the front page of the business section, "FAA's taxing authority lapses. Congress' failure to act could result in cut-rate airfare this weekend." The article says that travelers may save some money because Congress has failed to re-authorize the Federal Aeronautics Administration, but it doesn't say why. Actually, some of the far-right Republicans are holding up the re-authorization until they can get certain anti-worker legislation included in the bill. They want union elections to use the old rule where every worker who doesn't vote counts as a "no" vote against the union. The newer rules, courtesy of Obama appointees, just count "yes" and "no" votes, which is much better for working people. The AFL-CIO union federation has pointed out that, under the rules the Republicans want, none of them could have been elected to Congress!

Class struggle.

Simplifies everything.